Host  institution: Institut de Génomique Fonctionnelle de Lyon (IGFL)- CNRS, FR.

PhD Awarding institution: École Normale Supérieure de Lyon (ENSL), FR. 

Supervisors:  Dr. Michalis Averof and Dr. Mathilde Paris.

Project duration: 36 months.

Project description: Arthropod legs are multi-purpose organs, containing diverse cell types involved in sensing (e.g. sensory organ neurons, glia and accessory cells), locomotion (muscles, tendons, joints), protection and immunity (epidermis, blood cells), as well as numerous cell types with unknown functions. The recruited PhD student will generate a multimodal cell atlas, integrating the molecular profiles of more than 15 distinct cell types that make up the arthropod leg with ultrastructural data, and will identify the functions and evolutionary relationships of these diverse cells.

The student will accomplish this in the crustacean Parhyale hawaiensis, which we have already started to explore using scanning electron microscopy and single-cell transcriptomics. Parhyale legs contain more than 15 cell clusters discovered by single-nucleus RNAseq, corresponding to epidermal, neuronal, muscle and blood cells, as well as several yet unknown/uncharacterized cell types. The student will study the Parhyale leg at subcellular resolution using multi-beam SEM, to identify cell types based on ultrastructure, and will associate each of these with the corresponding transcriptional signatures using correlative light and electron microscopy approaches. Microanatomy and transcriptional profiles will provide a rich set of features for exploring the identities of these cells, their functions, and their relationships to the cells of other animals. Genetic tools such as transgene-mediated cell ablation or CRISPR-mediated gene knock-outs (already established in Parhyale) will be used to test the functions of selected cell types and the role of key regulators that define them.

Required applicant profile: Applicants should have a Masters degree in science, preferably in Biology. Practical experience in molecular, cell or developmental biology, microscopy and/or image analysis will be an advantage. Strongly motivated students from other disciplines should also apply. Applicants should be able to communicate fluently in English.

Application deadline: 15th March 2024

How to apply: To apply for this position, visit the following link. Applicants should submit a motivation letter and a CV in English.